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By Mike Johnson on 2012-01-08 19:50:40
James Storm vs. Kurt Angle

There was a “Let’s go Cowboy” chant early. Angle walked around ringside trying to dictate the flow of the match early. The crowd took to the “You suck” chant while they were doing some early back and forth wrestling, which was solid.

Storm tried to go for the Last Call superkick but Angle ran from the ring and went to the floor. The storyline is that Angle says it’s not a wrestling move but a bar room fight move. I never heard of Shawn Michaels winning any bar room fights but bet Chris Adams kicked some ass in his day.

Angle returned to the ring but saw Storm going for the superkick and ran off again. Slow start. Angle was caught with a punch and was sent to the floor. Storm jumped off the apron, nailing Angle. He caught Angle with a right hand on the floor. Storm kicked Angle in the corner when they returned to the ring and mounted the turnbuckles to rain down a series of right hands.

Storm was caught out of nowhere with an overhead belly to belly suplex. He stomped away at Storm in the corner. Angle draped him over the apron and drilled him across the chest several times. Angle stalked Storm in the ring and nailed a suplex for a two count. Angle controlled Storm and scored several two counts. He locked in a side chinlock but Storm began firing back with elbows to the mid-section.

Angle cut off Storm but was caught out of nowhere with a Side Russian Legsweep. Storm mounted a comeback with a series of clotheslines and a big forearm. He floated over and nailed the Backstabber for a two count. Storm whipped Angle but Angle spun around and began nailing a series of German suplexes.

They went back and forth until Storm caught Angle with a DDT for a two count. Storm went up and over. Angle scouted him well and went for the Olympic Slam but Storm slipped out. Angle cut him off with an elbow and hit an Angle slam for a two count. He pulled down his singlet and teased doing the superkick. He went for it but Storm caught his leg and nailed a backstabber to the chest for a two count.

Storm went to the ropes. Angle leapt up for a superplex but Storm was waiting for him and nailed him. Angle fell into the ring and Storm came off the ropes with a flying elbow for a two count. Storm set up for the superkick but Angle pulled the referee in the way. Storm cut the move off and was kicked low by Angle and a kick to the face.

Angle scored the pin.

Your winner, Kurt Angle!

Solid match but well below the pace of your usual Kurt Angle bout. The finish really took the shine off the work, but told the story of Angle being a slimeball to steal the win with a cheap move after claiming he lost because Storm’s kick wasn’t legit. From that standpoint, it made sense but it came so out of nowhere, the finish was beyond flat.

Backstage, someone asked Bully Ray what happened to Abyss after they caught them fighting. Ray, who was recovering from his match, said that he didn’t know and blew it off, saying that maybe Abyss took the rest of the night off. Obviously, he was lying.

Bobby Roode cut a promo saying that he only needed one chance and one time to become the TNA champion because he’s the it factor of pro wrestling. He asked how many times was Jeff Hardy going to get another chance. He put himself over as the most selfish man in wrestling and would do whatever it takes to remain champion. Usual good Roode promo.

TNA champion Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy

Jeremy Borash did the big time ring introductions. Hardy received the biggest reaction of anyone on the show tonight.

hey did some feeling out process wrestling. Roode caught Hardy with a shoulderblock off the ropes and worked over Hardy’s arm. Hardy nailed several hiptosses and armdrags. Roode cut him off in the corner but was caught and nailed with a series of rights. Hardy nailed him with an inverted atomic drop and a legdrop for a two count.

Hardy clotheslined Roode over the top to the floor and then slingshot himself into a kick to the chest. Hardy hit a running clothesline off the apron onto Roode on the floor. The announcers noted that Hardy may have banged up the same arm Roode was working on. Hardy whipped Roode into the steps, then hit a dive off the steps into Roode, sort of a variation on the old Air Sabu move. Hardy hit his knee on the guard rail and was limping.

Hardy tossed Roode back into the ring and covered him for a two count. Roode cut him off and tied him to the tree of woe. He drilled Hardy and then nailed an over the knee backbreaker. Roode began focusing on Hardy’s legs and then whipped him hard into the buckles for a two count. Roode nailed a suplex and hit a kneedrop off the second rope for another two count.

Hardy began mounting a comeback while trapped in a side chinlock but Roode cut him off. He sent Hardy to the floor and Hardy nailed the floor hard. Hardy was lifted and dropped across the guard rail. Roode brought his challenger back into the ring and locked in another side chinlock. Hardy tried to make it to the ropes for a break but Roode realized and brought him back to the mat. The crowd tried to rally Hardy but Roode trapped him in a crossface.

Roode continued working on Hardy and went to the ropes but Hardy lifted his feet and kicked Roode as he came down. With both men down, referee Brian Hebner began counting both men down on the mat. Hardy and Roode fought to their feet and exchanged punches. Hardy got the better of him and nailed several clotheslines, a back elbow and a backdrop.

Hardy kicked Roode into the corner and clotheslined him. Hardy’s whip was reversed and Hardy was sent into the corner but Hardy went up and over and nailed a Russian legsweep for a two count. Hardy slipped out of a spinebuster attempt and sat down into a jawbreaker. Roode came back with a spinebuster for a two count.

Roode attempted a superplex but Hardy fought him off and sent him down hard to the mat. Jeff went to dive off the top but Roode rolled out of the ring and tried to walk out of the building. Hardy gave chase and clotheslined him on the ramp and brought him back to the ring.

As Hardy returned to the ring, Roode caught him with a kick and nailed a Perfectplex for a two count. Roode went for another move but Hardy caught him with a Twist of Fate into a stunner. Hardy came off the ropes and scored a close two count.

Hardy went for the Twist of Fate but Roode slipped out of it and went to the floor. He went to leave with the belt but Hardy attacked him on the ramp. Hardy dragged him back to the ring. Roode still had the TNA tile belt. Hardy ducked Roode trying to use it and nail him. He went for the Twist of Fate but it would have been on the belt so the ref stopped it and removed it. Roode grabbed Hardy and went for a pin with his feet on the ropes but the ref caught him and stopped it.

Hardy scored a near fall with a two count. Roode, realizing he was done for, smiled and kicked the referee in the groin. Hardy nailed the Twist of Fate but the referee called for the bell.

Your winner by DQ, Jeff Hardy!

The crowd immediately began chanting “We Want Sting” but he didn’t come out. Hardy laid out Roode and nailed the Swanton. He grabbed the belt and threw it down on Roode.

Horrible finish that came off like TNA couldn’t come up with anything else. It wasn’t just a kick to the groin of the referee but their paying audience as well. Absolutely the worst way they could have closed the PPV in my opinion. The work was absolutely fine in the ring but when you show Sting, who’s supposed to be in charge, putting over that Hardy has this chance and earned it and then he doesn’t come out when the challenger gets completely screwed over, well, it makes him look like a moron. The fans shouldn’t have to wait until Thursday for conflict resolution when they are paying $30 to see a decisive finish.

Not the first impression anyone would have wanted going into the New Year, especially after the strong turn TNA TV has taken. The booking of the last two matches felt like missed opportunities, not in that the babyfaces should have went over, but that the finishes were so flat, they did no one – not the wrestlers, the fans or the company ANY good at all.

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